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FEMA and National Weather Service launch Wireless Emergency Alert System

FEMA and National Weather Service launch Wireless Emergency Alert System

While it's a little later than expected, the free SMS emergency notification system has now gone live. Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) messages will be delivered to cell towers in affected areas, which will then broadcast them to all compatible devices in their range. While the system is looking to cover over 97 percent of the country, it's being gradually rolled out across carriers. Sprint and Verizon are both apparently ready for action and while we haven't heard about the status of T-Mobile or AT&T, the National Weather Service has stated that hundreds of smaller carriers haven't yet enabled the broadcasts. However, not all phones -- especially the more elderly bricks still in circulation -- will work with the system. To check whether your weighty cellular still passes muster, hit up the compatible device list at the CTIA link below.

FEMA and National Weather Service launch Wireless Emergency Alert System originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Jun 2012 22:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceInformation Week  | Email this | Comments

Wireless Emergency Alert system goes live this month, delivers location-based SMS warnings

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Last we heard of the federal government's Wireless Emergency Alert system, only Sprint had signed on to deliver the SMS warnings. Now, with the secured participation of all four major carriers and smaller regional operators, that gratis service is set to go live this month, covering nearly 97 percent of active mobile users. Using a "point-to-multipoint system" that targets at-risk subscribers, the National Weather Service, FEMA, FCC and Department of Homeland Security-backed initiative works by sending location-based messages of 90 characters or less to nearby handsets in the event of an imminent meteorological threat. The mostly opt-out service will also accommodate AMBER and Presidential alerts, although you won't have that flexibility for missives sent from our head of state. So, the next time your phone gives off a strange auditory tone, you'll know to head for shelter.

Wireless Emergency Alert system goes live this month, delivers location-based SMS warnings originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 14 May 2012 17:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink PhoneScoop  |  sourceUSA Today  | Email this | Comments